|Who'da thunk I'd love the Dad Return of Goldberg|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Goldberg - Honestly, I was dreading Goldberg coming back for a match with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Why recreate the worst match in WrestleMania history? Then WWE decided it was going to push the match by having Goldberg talk, and the dread grew larger and larger. Goldberg didn't get popular with words; he became a hero because he hit people really hard and really quickly. But then he came out and played to a heartstring that was guaranteed to resonate with yours truly. He went into full DAD WRESTLER mode. At that instant, I took up my Goldberg banner and rode for him. I don't care about anything else. I want Bill Goldberg to represent us dads in the ring more than anything else. You have my sword, or more accurately, my spear and jackhammer.
Matt Riddle - I didn't expect to love an ex-MMA bro who wrestled in bare feet and adopted a frat aesthetic, but Matt Riddle is proof that books aren't made to be judged by their covers. The man is a prodigy. The best part about him is that among all his Catch Point/#grapplefuck brethren, his matches are always the shortest yet are never lacking for punch. For a dude with a shorter attention span than most, I appreciate that a lot.
Broken Matt Hardy - How the hell did MATT HARDY of all people try to change the game and succeed? I think he is not because he's getting direction from TNA management/creative, but he's going in his own crazy direction, and it's working. I watched the Final Deletion, and it hit a sweet, weird spot like Chikara does, but in a completely different area/direction.
The Young Bucks - Is their act stale? It hasn't changed much, no doubt, but they always seem to bring energy into the arena. Their matches are always fun. Some people change the business and keep changing it. Some people change the business and then settle into a groove. If they remain enjoyable, I'm all for it, and the Bucks are in that latter category.
Aussie Mean Girls (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay) - Yeah, they sorta fit into an archetypical NXT heel woman role, but they do it well, especially Kay and her dismissiveness.
Darby Allin - I love flippy dudes, especially ones who have no regard for their bodies, so even though he kinda looks like a off-brand Eminem, Allin had me hooked the first time I saw him recklessly fling himself into a fixed object. I wanna see him and AR Fox in a match to see who can do the dumbest highspot imaginable. It would be the most entertaining live snuff video ever.
Clement Petiot/Fabian Aichner/Da Mack - Man, I really wanted to see these guys more than anything get NXT runs out of the Cruiserweight Classic, because they were so entertaining, unique, good. I'm glad that at least Aichner is getting BritWres dates and Mack is still a big thing in Germany though. They deserve to be seen and get buzz.
Kellie Skater - I've been a huge fan of hers ever since my first SHIMMER DVD, and when I had heard she won the title, I was thrilled. No one in that company grew the way she did, and she deserves huge things for her career.
Nikki Cross - I never got to catch her as Nikki Storm, the Best in the Galaxy, so when she debuted as the stark-raving mad spitfire of SANitY, it was very much a first impression. She was dynamic and manic and all the things that not just make a great "crazy heel," but also a believable challenger for Asuka without being a returning former wrestler or a visitor from the main roster. She's the one who holds my attention and the only reason sometimes I feel like I want to deal with SANitY.
Vlad Radinov - Replacing Gavin Loudspeaker was a tough task, an almost impossible one if you ask the right person, but Radinov did so, not by imitating the former Louden Noxious, but by doing his own thing and owning it. He's the blueprint for someone looking to replace an icon; don't ape the guy you're replacing, but do your own thing and do it excellently. From the confetti stick to the dry punny humor to the magnificent hype speeches before big main events, Radinov has proven to be a Chikara landmark in almost immediate fashion.
Dalton Castle and THE BOYS
Estonian Thunder Frog
Heath Slater and Rhyno
John F'n Zandig
Los Ice Creams
No Way Jose
Oleg the Usurper
The New Day
Zack Sabre, Jr.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Part 1 - Unequivocal Hatred
Part 2 - Begrudging Toleration
Part 3 - General Enjoyment